Voting in the Nuwara Eliya district picked up towards afternoon, after a slow start in the morning as police maintained strict security in the area yesterday.
By noon, some 60 percent of the voters had turned up for polling, according to District Secretary D.G. Kumarasiri.
|UNP’s chief candidate S.B. Dissanayake visiting a polling booth.
||UPFA’s CM candidate Sarath Ekanayake
He said polls went on without major problems, but identification issues arose, with some voters having to be turned away.
Mr. Kumarasiri said that despite informing the public of the importance of having valid identification documents, many turned up with expired identity cards issued by government institutes, and as a result, these voters had to be turned away.
Voting in the estate sector was higher than in some of the rural areas.
In one of the few incidents of malpractice reported, some persons were found with specimen forms for voting. However no arrests were made.
Police Elections Chief Gamini Nawaratne who was in Nuwara Eliya yesterday said certain election monitors from Non-Governmental Organisatoins were trying to tarnish the image of the country by attempting to “create” election violence that was not really there.
DIG Nawaratne told the media he condemned these attempts by certain elements to bring discredit to the country and urged them not to do so. “One of the most peaceful polls in the country’s history is now being held,” he said.
The DIG said 140 election-related incidents had been reported in the two provinces since nominations closed. Five of these incidents were serious. Around 50 people had been taken into custody in connection with these incidents and about 40 more suspects were to be arrested, he said.
However some of the suspects had gone into hiding or were being kept hidden by certain politicians, DIG Nawaratne said.
He requested contestants and their supporters to accept victory or defeat in the proper spirit and to help maintain order.